Propagation: Unusual technique (rooting in bananas)

Flicking through the telly channels last night, I came across the very end of a gardening programme I'd long since given up watching. One of the presenters was giving instrutions on one of the most unusual propagation techniques I've heard in a long time. It involves a ripe Banana and Dianthus.

No Baa hasn't flipped her lid and it made a lot of sense.

Take one very yellow (no brown bits but ripe) banana fruit and place it on it's side.

Using a cocktail stick, poke 3 holes at equal intervals along the side of the banana

Take 3 Dianthus pipings (cuttings made by cutting a non flowering leaf stem from the plant) and remove the bottom few leaves

Push each individual piping into each individual hole made by a cocktail stick.

Place in a well lit place but not full sun.

When the banana goes brown, cut it into 3 equal parts so you have a Dianthus cutting per banana slice.

Pot each banana/Dianthus slice into individual pots.

A superb food source in the banana and no root disturbance when you pot the cuttings on. I'm going to give this one a go with Dianthus and other herbaceous cuttings!

Whats the most unusual propagation technique you've ever come across or discovered for yourself?

Perrysburg, OH(Zone 5a)

Wow, Baa that sounds really cool!!! I wonder what other plants it would work with??? Maybe I'll try a few houseplants.
Thanks for sharing.....

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Heheh, sounds funny, I am going to try this! :D

What other plants could I propagate this way?

Becky I'd love to know how the houseplant cuttings get on with this, if you don't mind?

Evert, they only said Dianthus but I think it could be used for most non-woody plants. Perhaps even easy rooted woody plants would do well. Again I'd love to hear how you get on.

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

I will try this tomorrow.... we have ripe bananas withotu spots in kitchen :} Or, at least there were if someone hasn't eaten them. :P

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

That's really interesting - I'll have to try it. thanks

Western, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks! Lets all give it a go and report back with the results. I will start with Coleus, Lantana, Salvia, Verbena; had better go shopping tomorrow for the bananas.

My pleasure Elsie

Golddog what a lovely idea, perhaps later today I'll post a thread (or you can since it's your idea!) to see if any more want to join in an experiement so we get to try many different plants.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

This can also be done with a large baked potato. Cook the potato in the microwave until you can make an impression with your thumb. Split it down the middle, let it cool, and wrap it in saran wrap. Poke holes in the saran wrap and insert your fresh cuttings. You can wrap the potato in moss if you want. Keep an eye on it so it does not dry out. It is a type of air layering and fun to do!

Thanks Kay!

What a great idea, perhaps we could do both?

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

What's saran wrap?

High Desert, CA(Zone 8a)

Evert... Saran wrap is made plastic, use to wrap or cover food with. rolled like aluminum foil. probably u call it by another name. Saran is a brand name.

Do you have cling film in Finladn Evert, it's a sort of clear plastic, thin sheeting you use to cover food with.

Helsinki, Finland(Zone 4b)

Ok thanks, we call it 'Tuorekelmu'.. it means "fresh foil" or "fresh film".

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Sounds like an interesting experiment! I wonder if that banana gets pretty smelly or not tho...and attracks fruit knats?
And here I was thinking of taking some gardenia cuttings this morning, hmmmm....!


Only one way to find out *G* .... and if it doesn't work then 'narrnas are great compost bin material!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Well, when they was passin out manners, I thought they said "nanners", and ate all mine! That's why I'm so uncouth...just uncouth enuff to try this experiment!

Panhandle, FL(Zone 8a)

Today I planted Clerodendrum Ugandense and Tropical hibiscus in a banana and what a fun idea.

Warkworth, Northumbe, United Kingdom

I heard on the radio today someone who cuts up a banana skin very finely and mixes this with the compost and she reckons that the plants grow much better so I thought that I would give it a try. I do wonder about flies though, watch this space.......

Jonesboro, GA(Zone 7b)

Not to worry about flies!!! When you add fresh scraps to the pile, you should either then turn the pile or at least stick them down into the pile, never just leave them on top.

We sometimes plant a shrub with banana or banana skin under the roots. They are full of potassium and other goodies and seem to work quite well.

Tokyo, Japan

To keep the topic tropical:
Strained banana is often added to agar formulae for flasking orchids.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Ok, this sounds like a great project for kiddos, too. Shoe, get that little sweetie of yours a banana and let her have a go at it. I'll get my sweetie, too, and see what we can get growing.

Can you see the Science Fair headlines now?! Elementary age girl grows plants from fruits and veggies.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b) stupid you peel the banana or poke the holes through the skin?

Western, PA(Zone 6a)

Poke holes through the skin. This way the moisture stays inside.

Perrysburg, OH(Zone 5a)

finally remembered to get my banana today, I will be starting "marble queen" pothos, passiflora, and african violets.

I might try a norfolk pine tip too....

This message was edited Sunday, Aug 18th 8:27 PM

Panhandle, FL(Zone 8a)

I planted my in soil yesterday. THe Clerodendrum looks bad, one Hibiscus is not looking good but the other is ok so far.

Cleveland, OH(Zone 5b)

Well, I'm giving it a try too! Today I used 3 bananas and put three cutting in each of Clematis, Passion Vine and Coleus. I'll keep you posted whether it works or not.

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Well shiver me timbers!! I have been away too long!! Baa that sounds ingenious and I will try it since I eat a banana a day!! Don't think the roses will be too happy without their daily dose though!! :-)

Perrysburg, OH(Zone 5a)

On monday I started african violet, norfolk pine, and pasiflora.
The passiflora doesn't look too good neither does the violet. The norfolk looks okay.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

After not so many glowing reports on this method, I ate the bananas I bought and shall sit back and await further reports! One thought though...isn't it amazing that we can all get bananas (and many other fruits and vegetables) year round? I don't know why, but lately these amazing little facts have been hitting home with me...although there is so much wrong with this world, if we just compare our lives with life even 50 years ago, we have it pretty easy with so many conveniences! Whew! Where'd that philosophical moment come from!?

Cleveland, OH(Zone 5b)

I don't know where your moment came from Dale, but you certainly have the right idea about eating the nannas instead of planting in them. All nine of mine look like they died within hours! I have been spritzing them with water, trying to revive them. I feel like a trainer for a boxer having a bad round in the ring!


What does the strained nana add to the agar?

Well folks it seems that the stronger the stem (not woody) the better it grows.

The African Violets have picked up and all of the succulents are doing very well. I'm going to try the Dianthus and Scutellaria on Monday in another banana.

Celia you don't need to spray them, they have enough moisture in the nana it's self.

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

As another banana freak i shall just have to try this one. Fascinating Baa. Please keep us posted on progress, just in case i too should eat my bananas instead of feeding them to the plants *G*

lagrange, GA(Zone 7a)

Well I went shopping yesterday and bought bananas so I'll be trying some "lantana in a nanner" today. A banana pudding sounds even better.

Hampstead, NC(Zone 8a)

I'm just now trying to catch up on the forum! Did this work? I want to try it! I'm going to a propogation class this thurs to learn how to divide plants. I'll have to ask if anyone has ever tried this. Shahin just wrote me to tell me he bought a spray to use on his plants to keep out rabbits, deer and such. The ingredients included eggs!
I use eggs in my garden all the time. Throw them out there raw, spoiled, crash them into rocks and plant new plants with a whole egg or two in the bottom. I wonder if this is why I have no deer or rabbits in my garden? Smelly eggs must be driving them away? Any thoughts?

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Do you have an human visitors? LOL

Perrysburg, OH(Zone 5a)

Well guys I had to toss my banana, the african violet rotted, the passiflora actually shriveled up, and we won't discuss what happened to the norfolk!!! I really wanted this to work, but I will try again with some easier plants. I think the whole concept is really great and makes alot of sense.

Cleveland, OH(Zone 5b)

Tossed mine out too. Started to smell up the basement and saw some fruit flies. Yuchh! I think I'm better off with perlite. Maybe hardier stems are needed. ????

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